I can honestly say that I have been rejected more times in my life than not. Every day for years I have gone into castings or meetings, shown them my book of work, had a positive chat with the client, and then been rejected. There have been jobs that I really wanted to get, jobs that I thought I had gotten, and others I was ambivalent about; and the outcome more often than not, was rejection. This is not to take away from how much I love my job, and how grateful I am for every opportunity it has given me in life. However, due to the nature of my work, rejection has been an extremely large factor in my life, and it has been something I have had to get very close and comfortable with, from an early age.
It is interesting to me when I get asked about rejection, and how I cope with it. My coping mechanisms have become muscle memory; I don’t have to make a conscious effort to cheer myself up. Nine times out of ten I don’t even care, and life continues as it always has. But every now and again there is a big rejection, one that really makes me re-evaluate how I was approaching my life and career. And out of that initial sting always comes a massive positive. It is strange how you always get what you really need in life – I truly believe that when you are ready for something, it tends to appear. It just doesn’t always appear the way you were expecting it to.
A big rejection always leaves me incredibly thankful for my regular clients and friends. I have a group of clients that have worked with me for over five years now; and I count them among my closest friends. They have worked with me as a blonde, brunette, in shape, “out of shape”, and in all kinds of locations and circumstances. They are truly what have made my career so special, and I love them all dearly.
In this vein, it is important to pay attention to the constants in your life. When we suffer a setback, small or large, we need our loving support networks more than ever. We are not the product of the random big things that happen to us; we are the product of the small things every single day that form us. It is easy to overlook small things, but it is so important not to. They form us into the humans we are today, and support us through all walks of life. Years of overlooking loved ones can lead to heartbreak and isolation. Be thankful for the people that show up daily for you, and you will realize that the big random chances were not what they seemed to be.
In my job, I regularly miss out on jobs that my friends get. I am fortunate that I don’t get envious of them, or begrudge them their achievements anymore. This was a quality that I had to learn – I am competitive by nature, and, like all humans, I like to succeed. However over the years, I have learned that sharing in my friend’s pure joy at achieving their goals feels so much better than sulking. I enjoy the role of the encourager; because I know just how hard they have to work to get to where they are in their careers. I know the sacrifice, and I know the payoff. And I am genuinely proud of them. Why be ungracious and selfish when someone you love gets what they want? This was the most powerful realization for me as I left my teenage years. There will come a point where you don’t get what you want, and this is the moment that shapes you as a human. Do you carry this rejection with you and become bitter, or do you set it free and share in the happiness of your friends instead? I can say from experience that the latter feels so much better.
Taking care of ourselves is paramount in times of stress. What we eat becomes us, and what we choose to engage in leaves imprints on our brains. These imprints can color our judgment in ways that we cannot conceive of – but they express themselves through our knee-jerk reactions and irrational emotions. During times of adjusting to a perceived loss I find it so important to pay closer attention to my lifestyle choices and workouts, and to stay far away from social media. I know I preach this for life in general; however if you tend to cultivate good habits through good and bad, the bad becomes much less unmanageable. Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants. Try to limit over consumption of added sugar or packaged franken-food’s, make sure to get your workouts in, get enough water, enjoy nature, meditate, and let yourself get enough sleep. Basically take good care of your body, and your mind will follow.
Finally, if it isn’t meant to be, then it isn’t. We aren’t defined by what we do or do not do, we are defined by how we do the things we do. In our successes are we humble and thankful? And in our failures are we gracious and reflective? Life is never defined by one thing – we are the result of countless small actions sustained over a lifetime. The big things are incredible, and we should be thankful for them and for others they happen to. But at the end of the day, they do not define us. The only thing that really matters is how we made other people feel. How we chose to exist for our short lifetime on this planet. And for always thinking of a third thing when listing things…